BBC North and South 1975 Adaptation

northandsouthI just finished watching the 1975 adaptation of North and South.  I really enjoyed it and I am so glad that I purchased it.  It is important to keep in mind that this version was made twenty-nine years before the 2004 Adaptation.   I was a little tickled knowing that Richard Armitage was only four years old when this version was made….HA!

north1I really loved Patrick Stewart as John Thornton and I think he did a really good job.  Stewart was thirty-five when he worked on North and South.  I don’t think this photo of Stewart does him justice as Thornton.  He actually is quite handsome in the film and his voice is very deep and sensual.  At least to me it is sensual.  It is very deep for SURE.  Stewart delivers his lines with more rapid fire than Richard Armitage did.  Both portrayals of Thornton are fabulous in their own right.  I LOVED it when Thornton went down on bended knee and told Margaret that he loves her and then looks at her intently….swoon.  This Thornton says a precious line that is in the book that I LOVE.  He says it while  he is carrying Margaret after they both faced the strikers.  Of course Margaret has passed out and doesn’t hear it.  If you read the book, you will know what line I am talking about.  If your name is Trudy Brasure you should know what line I am referring to.     In this version Thornton says this line with such love in his eyes while holding the only woman he will ever love.  It saddens me that this line was omitted from the 2004 version.

north8Rosalind Shanks, of course, plays Margaret Hale and I liked her a lot in the role.  Rosalind looks older than nineteen, but that could have been the makeup.  I was trying to find out how old Miss Shanks actually was at the time, but there is literally no information about her except that she is a British actress.  This version of Margaret is closer to the book.   Margaret Hale is an independent thinker, but she is still a Victorian woman and a Southern one at that.  Rosalind displays the haughtiness that Margaret of the book has.  Her hair is darker which is more like Margaret of the book as well.  This Margaret is also better dressed than the 2004  version of her.  Her clothes look more stylish and tailored.

 

north9The above photo is Margaret and John in front of his home facing the strikers.  In this version Thornton plays it very cool as the strikers are trying to break down the gate.  I LOVED it!  He knows the situation is urgent, but he plays it cool never the less.  Thornton goes to open the front door to his house, but before he goes inside he turns around and sees the strikers break the gate and enter the premises.  Thornton remains standing there, giving them a stare that is priceless and then he calmly goes inside and shuts the door.  I had to stop the video and replay it.

 

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Hannah Thornton

I did not care so much for this version of Mrs. Thornton.  She had the required meanness but at the same time she looked too physically fragile.

 

Mr. and Mrs Hale

Mr. and Mrs Hale

I liked this Mr. Hale, but Mrs. Hale was not as sweet as the 2004 version.

 

Fannie Thornton

Fannie Thornton

Fannie in this version was simply HORRID.  I did not like her at all.

 

Mr. Higgins

Mr. Higgins, Bessy and Margaret

 

Mr. Hale and Thornton (teacher and student)

Mr. Hale and Thornton (teacher and student)

 

It was a treat seeing Tim Pigot-Smith playing Margaret’s brother.  He looks the same only thirty years younger.  I could not find any photos of him in this production.  I never learned how to do screen caps.  Maybe someone else who knows how will do it.

 

This is the boxed version that I received in the mail.

This is the boxed version that I received in the mail.

 

This version is not filled with “beautiful” people like the 2004 version is.  Many of the actors and actresses are what would be considered “homely” when you compare it to period dramas that were made years later.    I am not going to tell you the ending, but I did like it.

All in all I really enjoyed watching this version of North and South.  I am glad that it is now in my video library collection to watch anytime I please.

Patrick Stewart

Patrick Stewart

 

Rosalind Shanks

Rosalind Shanks

Photo of Rosalind Shanks Courtesy of Victor Pemberton.

 

X-Men

X-Men-x-men-58082_1024_768I started watching the first installment movie of Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine  character.  X-men is directed by Bryan Singer and is the Marvel comic books brought to life on the silver screen.  I never read Marvel comic books because they are just not my thing, so watching the movie is not something I was ever interested in until my crush on Hugh Jackman started.    I admit that the only reason I watched X-men is because of handsome Hugh Jack the Man and my blog buddy Hamlette’s Soliloquy highly recommended it.  I have a high opinion of Hamlette’s recommendations.  I usually do not watch movies like X-Men.

X-Men was released on July 14, 2000.  It costs $75 million to make and grossed $296,339,527 at the box office.  Playing superhero, Logan/Wolverine in X-Men is the film project that hurled Jack the Man into super stardom.

wolverine-20061030012653559Imagine a man with a hairstyle and beard like this coming up to you asking for a date.  I thought Hugh Jackmann looked funny and crazy as heck in this movie.  In the Marvel comics Wolverine is only 5’3″ tall, so I am glad that the director and producers did not shy away from giving this role to the 6’2 and a half inches tall Jackman.  Bryan Singer’s first choice to play Wolverine was Russell Crowe, but Crowe turned down the role when he was denied a higher fee.  The studio’s preferred pick for Wolverine were Keanu Reeves and Gary Sinise.  After Russell Crowe turned the role down Bryan Singer considered Aaron Eckhart, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Edward Norton.  I cannot see Keanu or Ed Norton as Wolverine, but I can picture Van Damme in the part.  Actor Dougay Scott was then cast in the role but he had to bow out because of scheduling conflicts with filming Mission Impossible.  Hugh Jackman already had some film projects under his belt, but he was still relatively  unknown at the time.  Jackman was signed on to play Wolverine a month and a half after principal photography started on X-Men.  I thoroughly enjoyed Jack the Man as Wolverine.  He was grumpy, mean and vicious, had a soft spot in his heart and the ability to fall in love all rolled up into one.

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X-Men_First_Class_Hugh_Jackman

X-Men-hugh-jackman-as-wolverine-19520764-1759-1174Since I did not read the Marvel comics I am left a bit confused about the characters.  By the end of the movie I was still wondering about Wolverine, Rogue, Xavier, Magneto and all the rest of the mutant people.  The movie starts out with a scene of Jews marching along in mud.  One couple is separated from their son who displays special powers when he tries to get away.  The next thing I know the time period is the present.   The only thing that I clearly understand is that the mutants are results of Nazi experimentation during WWII.  They have super human powers that can be very dangerous and life is difficult for them because they are not like everyone else.  Mankind tends to demonize and make fun of any segment of society that they do not understand which is so unfair.   The mutants have a hard time growing up and being an adult is not much easier.  The arrogance of mankind is so on display in the X-Men.

patrick-stewart-professor-x-x-men-days-of-future-pastPatrick Stewart is fabulous as Professor Charles Xavier.  Patrick brings a quiet dignity to the role,l yet he si a strong leader.  As far as I know I have never seen Patrick Stewart in anything before.  I look forward to seeing him play John Thornton in July when the BBC 1975 version of North & South is released on DVD.

MagnetoIan Mckellan plays the evil Magneto.  There is obviously a huge back story involving Magneto and Xavier.  For some reason I had Ian McKellan confused with the actor who plays Mr. Bell in North & South, so at first I thought Magneto was him.

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Anna_Paquin-Rogue_003I love Anna Pacquin as Marie/Rogue.  Anna is all grown up now but she is still as cute as ever.  Anna is also a very good actress.  I think she did an amazing job in X-Men.  Rogue is smitten with Wolverine and I don’t blame her one bit.  Wolverine is thinking about someone else though and I am very disappointed about that.  I don’t like that other mutant woman for him, I can’t remember her name.

1321200-14At the end when Wolverine leaves his dog-tag with Rogue I get a bit confused because I thought he wanted the other woman.  What’s her name again?  If you saw X-Men you know who I am talking about.  She is dating Cyclops.  I hope that the sequels is going to show a growing romantic fondness coming from Wolverine to Rogue and not that other woman or else I am not going to like it one bit.  Oh wait a minute, the character dating Cyclops is Dr. Jean Grey.   Famke Janssen is this the actress who plays her.  When you leave something precious to you with a woman and then tell her you will be back for it, it means something.  At least to me it does.

Halleasstorm2Halle Berry plays Ororo Monroe/Storm.  Halle is okay in the role.  I did not detect anything special about her acting in X-Men, but she was good.

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The entire movie was filled with action and adventure, not the kind that I prefer, but it wasn’t as bad as it could have been when it came to the fighting parts.  There are lots of special effects which would be considered forward thinking in 2000 when X-Men came out.

The most ridiculous thing I found about X-Men are the authorities.  If you meet up with people who have superhuman powers why would you think that you would be ANY match for them.  The scene where the police has Magneto surrounded and they tell him to stop right there and give himself up was so dumb.  I had to laugh.  🙂

I cannot wait to see the other X-Men movies.  I want to learn the back story of the characters and I want to see some more of Jack the Man.  I hear that he gets better as Wolverine with each movie.  I cannot stream X-Men 2 on Amazon.   Netflix does not have any of the X-Men movies available for streaming and I am not liking that one bit.  I streamed the first X-Men on Amazon and the all the others except for X-Men 2 can be streamed.  Therefore,  I had to order the DVD of X-Men 2.  It was only $2.98 for a brand new DVD of X-men 2, and I get free shipping so I can’t complain.  While I was at it I saw there is a DVD of 60 Minutes news program interviewing Hugh Jackman, so I purchased that as well.  YAY!!!  I want to watch all the X-Men movies in order so I have to wait for X-Men 2 to arrive on Thursday.

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Hugh+Jackman+Short+Hairstyles+Short+Straight+4gM2TLKy2KElJack the Man signing autographs at X-Men premiere.